Flower Dictionary

Rose: The Flower of Love

Red Bouquet

Ever wondered why you always see Roses in romance films? Well, that’s because they universally signify love! However, there is more to these delicate blooms than Valentine’s Day clichés. We’ve put together a comprehensive list that covers what you need to know and would like to know about Roses – from history to fun facts, and flower care tips.


The Origin of Roses

Fossil evidence suggests that Roses have bloomed as early as 35 million years ago and there are now over 150 species spread across the globe! ‘Rosa Gallica’ was the name given to this plant when the Romans and Greeks were cultivating it. Fun fact—the demand for these flowers amongst the Roman aristocrats rose (pun intended) so rapidly that peasants were made to grow them instead of food!

The origin of Roses can also be traced back to Greek mythology. The story goes that Aphrodite (the Goddess of Love) met Adonis (her lover) while he was wounded, and the mixture of her tears and his blood touching the ground birthed a red Rose bush.


Roses in Ancient History

Roses have a colourful history dating back to ancient times. In the past, it was said that Cleopatra took advantage of the Rose’s opulent scent in an attempt to win the affection of Roman general Mark Anthony. To do this, she allegedly had a fountain of Rose water and a chamber filled with Rose petals. And to answer your question, yes. Her plot did work on him eventually. 😉

Mark Anthony wasn’t the only one who saw the appeal in Roses; it’s also said that the fifth Roman emperor, Nero, enjoyed having Rose petals fall from the ceiling like confetti during banquets – so much so that at times, they even suffocated his dinner guests!



The Meaning of 1 to 100 Roses

Did you know that the meaning of a flower is not limited to its colour or species, but also the number of flowers you receive/send? Here’s a list of the hidden meanings behind different numbers of Roses:

1 Rose – A single stalk is for someone you love and signifies ‘love at first sight’

3 Roses – The representation of those three words, ‘I love you’

6 Roses – If you’ve decided to finally make it official with someone you’re dating, this is the best way to say ‘ I want to be yours’

9 Roses – Giving someone nine Roses means that you wish to be with them for the rest of your life

12 Roses – A dozen Roses is a simple and direct ‘Be mine’

24 Roses – 24 Roses represent how often they’re on your mind – 24 hours

50 Roses – The perfect way to show your unconditional love to them

99 Roses – ‘I’ll love you till the day I die’

100 Roses – To further prove that your undying love for someone will last 100 years


What do the different Rose colours represent?

Sending Roses to someone could be a great way to say “I love you” or “Thank you for being my friend”. In general, Roses symbolise love and romance, but they can also mean many different things depending on the colour. To help you decide on which colour(s) would best suit your recipient, here is a list of the various Rose colours and what they mean:


Red Rose

Meaning of Red Roses

Ah yes, the classic red Rose. This timeless flower-colour combo represents love and romance. If you’re planning on proposing to The One or just want to show a loved one some affection, this colour is perfect for you! <3


White Rose

Meaning of White Roses

Purity and innocence are usually linked to the colour white, and this is no exception for white Roses. You often see them at weddings because they represent new beginnings. White Roses also symbolise remembrance and sympathy, making it a suitable gift for someone mourning the departure of a loved one.


Yellow Rose

Meaning of Yellow Roses

The warm colour of yellow Roses expresses joy and friendship. They are one of the few Roses with no romantic connotations, making them a great gift for any platonic friend, like your best friends or co-workers!


Pink Rose

Meaning of Pink Roses

Pink Roses ultimately emanate grace and joy. However, the different shades of pink represent different things, making them super versatile for all occasions. For instance, a pale pink Rose symbolises gentleness and grace, while a dark pink Rose is given to show one’s appreciation.


Blue Rose

Meaning of Blue Roses

Because blue Roses do not exist naturally but can be produced by using artificial dye, they symbolise attaining the impossible, defying all odds, and new beginnings. It also happens to signify true love.


Rose Flower

Rose Fun Facts

  • Roses are so special because there are many things you can do with them besides admire their beauty! Rose petals are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and all that good stuff. A few ways they can be used include a daily skin cleanser, homemade potpourri, Rose tea, food recipes, Rose water and more!
  • The USA’s national flower is the Rose. We know, right? We never knew either!
  • David Austin, a Rose breeder from England, spent more than $4 million to create a Rose hybrid (the Juliet) which sold for a whopping $15.8 million – making it the world’s most expensive Rose.
  • Rose bushes thrive in sunlight, making Singapore’s tropical climate conducive to growing them. However, cut Roses require different care and are best kept in cooler environments.
  • Perfume industries have long strived to capture the Rose’s sweet, sophisticated fragrance in their scents. To do this, Rose oil is extracted from thousands of Roses to make perfumes and has become one of the most important ingredients in perfumery.


White Pink Rose

Rose Care 101

How long do cut Roses last?

With proper flower care, a cut Rose’s life span can go up to approximately one week after being cut, whereas fresh Rose petals last up to 3 days after being plucked.


How to keep your cut Roses fresh longer

Basic flower care includes trimming the stems, removing the leaves, changing out the water every few days and leaving the flowers in a cool place. You can maximize the longevity of your Rose bouquet by following these additional care tips.


Rose Guard Petal

What are Rose Guard Petals?

If you notice any bruising or browning on the outer petals of your fresh Roses, don’t panic! Your Rose is most likely healthy and not wilting as you expect. The bruised/damaged-looking petals you see above are guard petals of the Rose that protect the inner petals from bruising during transit. All you need to do is remove them and your blooms will be as good as new!

To do this, gently pinch the base of the petal with your index finger and slowly pull them down towards the stem, while making sure you don’t damage the flower. Repeat these steps until all the imperfect outer petals have been removed. Enjoy your new Rose!


A Rosy Conclusion

We’ve touched on how Roses first came to be, what they’re commonly used for, what the various Rose colours mean and how to care for them. Now, you’re all set to decide which Rose to choose for your next bouquet!

Enjoyed this read? Discover other interesting flowers here.